8 Checkpoints to Crafting Excellent Customer Service Emails
Writing good customer service emails can be tricky. Your customers may generally only reach out to you with questions or problems; they can be angry, demanding, even irrational. Of course, while you want to respond to the email sooner rather than later, how do you handle this if writing isn't your strong point. Every customer interaction is a critical opportunity to fulfill your brand promise: Keep it consistently and they will stay with you, break it once and they will never forget and may even leave you for one of your competitors.
This article will share the formula for excellent customer service emails, and how to properly read the email so questions are answered.
Goals of excellent customer service
Answer customers’ questions
Build relationships and grow return rate
Prevent repeat contact; be savvy about manpower
8 checkpoints to crafting a good response email
Checkpoint 1: Show you have read the email
We love our customers, but let's be truthful – many of their emails are not "well written."They may have bad spelling and grammar, sometimes without a straightforward question. We know our customers are busy, and we cannot reply and ask them to rewrite the email; instead, we must read thoroughly to understand what they really want. By uncovering the context of their words, we can better respond to their intent.
Critical reading is the most basic art form in the customer service world. You might have piles of emails to reply to, and the email just keeps coming in!
If we resolve 1 customer’s email fully, this will be the inquiry's end, no further questions asked! Break down the email into sentences; use the spell check of Microsoft word to fix the typos and grammar so you can read clearly.
If it is an email-driven by high emotions, validate their feelings compassionately as you pinpoint what caused it, and that is what you need to apply your solution.
If we resolve 1 customer’s email fully, this will be the inquiry's end, no further questions asked! Break down the email into sentences; use spell checks to fix typos and grammar so you can read clearly.
Checkpoint 2: Address the question at the beginning of the email
After critical reading, you should be able to locate at least 1 question. Answer them all. Begin the email with a friendly tone, thanking the customer for reaching out to you. Acknowledge their feelings, this is an important step and gains rapport. Then dive right into tackling their problems/questions.
Checkpoint 3: If you have done any research on the issue, share it in the email
As the customer service representative, you are viewed by the customer as THE knowledge expert. Share with your customer. This helps build creditability too. The more reliable they think you are, the more they will appreciate and listen to your help and suggestions.
Checkpoint 4: Explain any point of action the customer should take
Not all problems can be resolved from your end. If there is something the customer needs to do on their end, explain the steps to them. Be patient and clear.
Feel free to put the steps in bullet point form, so it is easier to follow. Remember to always be as helpful as you can be. Even if the solution can only be done at the customer's end, make sure to offer your number or book an online zoom session to provide extra help as needed.
Checkpoint 5: Ensure a consistent-friendly and personal tone
Regardless of your customer’s tone be sure to keep a positive tone. Be friendly and polite. Our customers are people, and they need to see us as people too. Remember, we are the professional frontline of our service. This can quickly help to switch the impression around!
Checkpoint 6: Be helpful and supply links and attachments if you have referred to something
Avoid telling them to simply look at the website, even though it is "right there." There is a reason they’ve reached out; they might have looked for the solution or not. Maybe their feedback will reveal your user-friendly site wasn’t as user-friendly as originally thought! Share with links or files of where the information may be, take a screenshot, circle/highlight the item for easy locating.
Checkpoint 7: Be extra helpful; let them know where they can get more of this information from
If they are asking you "how to do step 1", while replying with the answer, give them further information on "how to do step 2, 3, 4.. etc."
Checkpoint 8: Check your spelling and grammar
You have come this far in composing a beautiful email; so make it perfect, easy to read, with nothing lost in communication.
Start an Excel document to share with your customer service team that includes common questions and replies.
This is useful for further references, as well as helping to ensure consistency among your team’s responses.
To save time, create template email replies and save them as signatures in your email account to quickly respond to standard customer questions.